Dissertation: Business intelligence acts as a precursor to strategy

Yassine Talaoui
Business Intelligence (BI) and analytics play a key role in strategy work. However, business intelligence is not just a data mass that supplements strategy or a self-evident prop, but, together with the predictions generated by new algorithms and computational models, it can even act as a driving force or "prime mover" in strategy formation, according to Yassine Talaoui's doctoral thesis at the University of Vaasa.

Business intelligence is needed to help firms sustain their competitive advantage and understand the behaviour of their employees.

– The volumes of data are of little to no value for firms unless terabytes of data particles are merged together and analysed longitudinally to uncover patterns that can be compared and juxtaposed to create digital footprints. This in turn requires the creation of mathematical models and representations of everything a firm knows about each entity in its organizational and competitive environment, says Talaoui, who will publicly defend his doctoral dissertation on Wednesday 11 May.

Talaoui's dissertation on strategic management is a reflexive exploration that seeks to subvert the meaning, assumptions and grand narratives of scientific texts on the relationship of Business Intelligence (BI) and its associated analytics and strategy. As such, this thesis helps managers to understand the nature of BI and the role of its sophisticated technologies in the emergence of strategy.

The results show that firms that invest in BI and analytics to collect and analyse data on organizational phenomena can develop efficient feedback loops for knowledge absorption and transmission across organizational units. They can also account for strategy emergence when implementing their strategies and create a database of organizational knowledge on networks, practices, routines, and competences.

– Such firms can also assess their assumptions regarding certain patterns and make rational predictions and strategic decisions about the future of organizational phenomena, says Talaoui.

According to the thesis, executives should address how the predictions can be incorporated into their decision-making and the strategic activity of the organization.

 – A further issue that executives must then address is how they can reveal the predictions to their organizational entities. That can be challenging, especially with predictions of behaviour and routines and the implications of such choices.

Public defence

The public examination of M.Sc. Yassine Talaoui’s doctoral dissertation “Business Intelligence (BI) as Simulacra – A radical reflexive look at the BI & analytics sustenance of strategy workwill be held on Wednesday, May 11, 2022, at 5 PM at the University of Vaasa (T306).

You can also participate in the defence online: https://uwasa.zoom.us/j/61859579962?pwd=K0IvaTVkY1dXRmFlTVlobTU4N2RhUT09 Password: 166225

Professor David Boje (Aalborg University) will act as an opponent and Professor Marko Kohtamäki as custos.

Doctoral dissertation

Talaoui, Yassine (2022) Business Intelligence (BI) as Simulacra – A radical reflexive look at the BI & analytics sustenance of strategy work. Acta Wasaensia 486. Doctoral dissertation. University of Vaasa.

Publication pdf: https://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-395-022-1

Further information

Yassine Talaoui, tel. +358 29 449 8696, Yassine.talaoui (@) uwasa.fi

Yassine Talaoui works as a researcher of strategic management at the University of Vaasa. His research interests focus on delineating relationships between materiality, technology, and strategy research and management and organization studies.  Prior to Academia, Yassine has worked as a strategy consultant for five years for private and public sectors in the USA and Morocco.

He holds a Master of Science in Economics and Business Administration from the University of Vaasa, an MBA from Devos Graduate School of Management (MI, USA) and a BBA from Paris School of Business (Paris, France).

Yassine Talaoui. Photo by Riikka Kalmi/ University of Vaasa

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